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Chop and change - lacking consistency in team selections

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Raees, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Mar 15, 2018
    #1

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    Seperate topic to the tactical stuff but is anyone generally frustrated by how we seem to chop and change game by game even after we win games or the way certain players get binned after one or two bad games and how we never really know what is our de facto starting XI for say a big fixture?

    Now I know we are the so called versatile team which changes our tactics depending on who we face but honestly Jose sides at his best you tended to know what his best XI would be or at least know what his plan B is.

    It honestly feels like we make it up as we go along when it comes to team selections at times and yes injuries haven't helped but there is an awful lot of chopping and changing and it says a lot when even a defensive shambles like Liverpool have now almost got a set back 4 which they're using week in week out but they have the same front three which means attacking wise there is consistent link up play and patterns and players get to know each other whereas at United it's so chaotic.. the one thing we had going was the Rashford/Martial thing but at least we knew they're similar in profile but then that was binned halfway through for Sanchez and selections have become even more chaotic and the midfield now is also even more chop and change since the Pogba saga.

    Then we get something good going with McTominay and Matic.. then completely switch it up for a guy who has barely featured all season for a huge CL game at home.

    We also had the Shaw is coming good again, let's reintegrate him and give him a new contract and then he's been benched again with no game time since Young is back. Without letting Shaw play his way out of the team first.

    I know tactics etc is a big feature of my usual threads but doesn't matter how good your philosophy and coaching is.. if you're not playing the same sort of side for most games, they're going to play like strangers on the pitch and especially in midfield and attack.. you need to have that deep connection and know each other's attributes and runs intuitively (but that comes from lots of game time together too).

    Thoughts?
  2. Mar 15, 2018
    #2

    Jig1234 Full Member

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    This is what gets on my nerves more than anything. Mourinho didn't do that at Chelsea. You knew his starting XI every game. He has also started playing people in the wrong position. Why is he moving Martial and Rashford from the left to the right? Why does he change a winning team and drop players like Mata for Fellaini?

    We're at the back end of his second season and he is still faffing about with his XI/Formation. Sanchez looks like greedy opportunism. He has made a bad team even worse.
  3. Mar 15, 2018
    #3

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots

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    Fantasy Football (bare with me) has made it obvious how poor we are over the past few years in this regard. You have no idea which United players will start in most positions consistently...because they don't in most. Back in the real world that's quite obviously because no one is consistently good enough to secure a spot, but even when they look like they are there's no guarantee. Or they'll get injured anyway.

    Truth is we've had and have too many what should be second choice players throughout the team (whether that's because they're young or because they're not good enough), so they just get rotated.
  4. Mar 15, 2018
    #4

    Leftback99 Full Member

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    It's one thing I didn't expect from Mourinho. It just adds to the lack of coherent attacking play when in particular it's a new front 4/5 every week.

    I could name the rest of the top 6's best starting 11 but I've no idea what ours is anymore.
  5. Mar 15, 2018
    #5

    Minimalist Full Member

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    I imagine it's a bigger problem when (apparently) Mourinho leaves his forwards/attackers to 'get on with it' rather than coaching them.

    In that scenario, surely you need to give them a consistent position/role to develop that on their own?
  6. Mar 15, 2018
    #6

    RedFish Full Member

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    It'd be different if the players we had were good enough. Some of them are, over half of our first XI aren't, hence the rotation.
  7. Mar 15, 2018
    #7

    abdo99 Full Member

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    It's because of Mourinho's tactics. He sets up the team to nullify the opposition team and their players so has to chop and change our team to suit different oppositions. This results in inconsistencies from game to game. We can look good one game against Liverpool and then look abysmal against Newcastle. It's ridiculous we are 20 months into Mourinho's reign and nobody knows our best 11 or style of play. The only constants in our best team going forward should be De Gea, Bailly, Matic, Pogba, Lukaku and one of Martial/Rashford. Everyone else needs to prove they are worthy of starting spots.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  8. Mar 15, 2018
    #8

    Jake Mine's too big and gay.

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    I can’t take any argument against Jose seriously when people use Shaw as a weapon as to his failings.

    Fair enough starting Fellaini rather than Scott. Although I can see why he did that because of Fellaini’s experience.

    Shaw has been an absolute failure and probably one of our worst ever signings. He’s at best an average defender, prone to a mistake and offers absolutely nothing in attack and his productivity is down right shocking.

    I’m willing to give Jose one more season as we have progressed a lot this year
  9. Mar 15, 2018
    #9

    Physiocrat Full Member

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    Exactly right. It's almost as if he's just turned up and doesn't know the players well.
  10. Mar 15, 2018
    #10

    Jig1234 Full Member

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    Mourinho has failed to get the best of out the players. I accept that regardless of the starting XI this season has been poor but I don't believe Mourinho is getting the maximum out of the squad. We might not have the best defence or midfield but we do have great attackers but he does not set up to utilise our attack. He does the opposite, tries to contain and stop the opposition. I think his style of play is not fit for purpose. We have a lot of quality in the final third but we play such slow football, we rarely get to see it.
  11. Mar 15, 2018
    #11

    Raees Legal Guardian of the Football forums

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    I honestly don't think that is a valid excuse. Regardless if you're personnel isn't good enough, you should still realise that synergy is important in any given team and try your best to figure out your best XI early doors and make do with what you have and try your best to get the most chemistry out of your go to side by playing them with each other. Also not letting the XI play their way through defeats and lulls in form, how are they going to grow together and learn lessons in adversity if you keep changing the lineup.

    Plus we have rotated even when we put in good performances in the previous game... see Everton and just recently with the Liverpool game.,
  12. Mar 16, 2018
    #12

    Swift Football Banned

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    I do agree with this except for Shaw part. When Shaw started few games, he looked quite shaky at the back. he is alright going forward, but quite vulnerable at the back. For e.g., In crystal palace game, Shaw just did not do enough to prevent the cross from which Benteke headed and De Gea produced a world class save to keep the game at 2-2. Besides, he looks more like a fat pig than a professional athlete. Cannot excuse that, does not matter, you are playing or not.

    Regarding rotation, I agree we are constantly rotating our XI, it does not help. It feels like our midfielders do not know when to go back to pick up the ball from one of our back 4, or where to position themselves when Smalling or Valencia has the ball. We already know our defenders are not good at bringing the ball out , so why not have a proper plan to tackle that. I am sure if we drop one of our attacking midfielder drop at certain times and other move as per plan, the angles will open up, but we have not seen any plan of such sorts.

    Before playing consistent XI, we need to decide, do we want to play with 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3? Yes, we can play both depending on situations, but when we buy player we need to have a certain setup in mind. Next is playing same players consistenly so that they know each other, can anticipate their movement, and play to each other's strenghts. Give a run of 4-5 games at least to judge a player, and then if its not working out, play another one in that position, making the former one as backup.

    For e.g., At LW, we have tried all three of Martial, Sanchez and Rashford and we know what each is like. Sanchez has been shit at LW, but for some reason, if Jose decides Sanchez will play at LW going forward, then so be it. Then one of Martial and Rashford has to prove they can do well at RW , or else one of them has to be moved on for right or wrong reasons. There is no use stocking players in one position while ignoring others.

    Also, we seem to be slightly favoring 4-2-3-1, do we have a top #10. If not, we need to bring one, and we need to know who are our no.10s? If it is Mata, Lingard, Sanchez and a new 10, then each should be given ample chances to prove there, and those who show they are not good enough should be moved on, no matter how much they cost or if they are our academy graduate or if they are from manchester or outside.
  13. Mar 16, 2018
    #13

    Giggs86 Full Member

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    Yes, it is almost as bad as Rafa's rotation system back at the day in Liverpool.
    Almost every top team have pretty much a clear idea of its best line-up, and you can call a week ahead the starting line-up barring any injuries or last moment tweaks.
    Honestly it looks like Mourinho is just guessing without having a clear grasp of what exactly he's doing. No wonder we go from world beaters to a pub team in a matter of three days.
  14. Mar 16, 2018
    #14

    RooneyLegend Full Member

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    In order to build a consistent first 11 the manager has to have a clear idea on what he wants to achieve, i.e the team he's trying to build and roles of players. Clearly our manager is far from that point given he's struggling to use his most expensive acquisition in a way that gets the best out of him.
  15. Mar 16, 2018
    #15

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    I don't think it should be an issue. Fergie also rotated so heavily and he always kept players fresh and won titles.

    People here complain when Jose doesn't rotate his players, also complain when he rotates.

    For example, Matic plays lot of games and people complain he is exhausted and blame Jose when fact is Matic got lot of rest in Jan and he isn't even the player who played more mins in the league.

    For me biggest issue is changing tactics too often. There is no consistent way of playing.
  16. Mar 16, 2018
    #16

    Treble Full Member

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    He wouldn't do it if the team were playing well. He is trying to stumble over a working formula. At the same time, Sanchez's singing has made things more difficult because Jose is trying to fit him in the team without freezing out Martial, Rashford and Lingard. And thus is forced to rotate in order to keep them happy.
  17. Mar 16, 2018
    #17

    Kostov Full Member

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    I think it's a serious problem. Mourinho is here almost 2 years and yet he doesn't have a constant formation nor starting 11. It's very frustrating.
  18. Mar 16, 2018
    #18

    Marcky411 Full Member

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    Firstly never read so much rubbish in my life. When Jose came to Utd he was known for having a fixed 11 and hardly rotated, people were concerned that youth would never get a chance, except he has decided to do the complete opposite. Jose has his favourites, last year it was Pogba an Zlatan, didn't matter how bad they were, undroppable, this year it is Matic, Lukaku and up until a month or two ago Pogba, but that has changed due to Sanchez, now Sanchez is the undroppable one and he really needs dropping.
    He has treated some players like shit,e.g. Martial, Shaw, Mikhi and continues to find a victim in the team to take his frustrations out on, also his outbursts against other trainers and players in the press to take the attentions off his failings. What has Romero done wrong this season to get no game time, last year did very well in the games he played, why have Martial and Rashford been shoved around or benched to accommodate Sanchez. I can carry on with more e.g but how many players are getting benched for no reason at all. The stats have shown Utd is a better team and win more when Mata plays, (team screams out for creativity, a creative player) why is he continually benched or first to be subbed. The reason for all this inconsistency is because players are continually being shoved around to play in different positions and as soon as they find a bit of match rhythm they benched.
    All this shows he has no clue what he is doing, absolutely no vision and hopes the players will somehow solve the problem for him. This is a man that thinks Fellaini is a must have player, that in it's self speaks volumes. In the summer he will buy some more players, I presume there will be more defenders in his choice of players and once they are here on ridiculous wages, playing a couple of months under Jose will too turn into shit. Then we can hear again from fans how mediocre our squad is and we need a major clear out. That clear out should start with Jose.
  19. Mar 16, 2018
    #19

    TheRedDevil'sAdvocate Full Member

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    But it is tactical, isn't it? It's Jose's mess, but a tactical one nonetheless. I remember when i was young and i had just started asking questions about what is the key to winning football matches and the first thing i was told was this: Show me your midfield and i'll tell you how good your team is.

    I'll start with a favorite subject on here, the curious case of Anthony Martial. I was just thinking the other day, why doesn't he start more matches for us? You'd also think that his treatment by the manager, since Sanchez was purchased, has been unfair and rightfully so. Then i started thinking, when does Martial usually start a game under Mourinho and when does he play truly well? It's when Pogba is in the starting lineup too. When the Frenchman's play-making and ball-carrying abilities are present in the midfield, Martial gets the nod from Mourinho to play as the furthest of the three (in the 4231) and the closest player to Lukaku. And he's been linking well with Lukaku, truth be told. When Pogba is missing from the midfield, our ability to play vertically through the lines goes away with him and the gap between the back-six and the front-four becomes gigantic. That's when players like Sanchez and Rashford are preferred to start because Mourinho is in desperate need of players to fill that gap and carry the ball forward. The problem with that is that it hasn't solved anything yet and it has really frustrated Alexis in his early days at Old Trafford.

    Similar is the situation with Mata and, until recently, Mkhitaryan. I've argued elsewhere that when you want to play 433 and also want Lukaku to be your lone forward, you can't surround him with two more players who think like forwards on the wings. There's a dire need for a second play-maker, a more advanced one, who will help against organized defences. Whatever one may think of him, Mata is the best we have in our squad for this particular role. I have nothing against Lingard at all but he seems to me like a player who depends a lot on his good form and whose level of performance has enormous changes within a single game. Yet, he's trusted by Mourinho for the same reason as Sanchez and Rashford. He's more than willing to drop deep, offer another option in a static midfield and carry the ball forward. Furthermore, he's also willing to cover for Pogba/Fellaini/Herrera when they get dragged out of position in the defensive transition (which is quite often). The thing is that when your play-maker is forced to come deep most of the time, this leaves a huge gap unexploited (in our case on the right wing and the right half-space) and we basically do the opposition's defending ourselves in those areas.

    Now, McTominay has provided Mourinho with a solution in order to make his zonal defending (but with man-marking orientation) more functional. But it takes all the creativity away from the midfield too. You can add Pogba as a third midfielder and play Martial on the left (and in an advanced position) but as the Chelsea game showed us, you'll need play-making skills on the right and not a player like Sanchez. But we didn't sign Sanchez to have him on the bench, so it's back to the 4231 that allows us to start Sanchez and one of Marcus/Tony plus an advanced play-maker in either Mata or Lingard. But without Pogba's class deep in the midfield, we nullify our own advanced play-maker who must drop very deep just to get on the ball. And when we add Pogba to the mix (in the 4231), the opposition finds all kinds of spaces between our lines. So, what do we do? We chop and change according to who we're facing as you already mentioned. And sometimes, like last Tuesday, we get it horribly wrong.

    You could fill a whole tome about the choices at the back. I'll just say that the fact that Jose has not found a stable back-four two years in his tenure at a club seems to be one of the greatest mysteries in the world of football. And i'll just leave it there.
  20. Mar 16, 2018
    #20

    Beaucoup Full Member

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    Take it you're not a fan of Jose?

    I honestly think we don't play a consistent first 11, because we simply don't have one good enough. I think Jose's "we did our best" comment that everyone is getting upset about is true, by playing Fellaini and Lingard in midfield did we really expect to play free flowing expansive football? but what realistically was the solution, playing Pogba, who is clearly out of form and a 20 year old rookie that half of the Caf think's is shite.

    I'm prepared to give Jose the benefit of the doubt, I think even he has been surprised by the size of the job in hand, but he did say it would take a number of transfer windows to put right. We shouldn't judge the season on one game and it's obvious we are moving in the right direction.
  21. Mar 16, 2018
    #21

    Parma Dewol Full Member

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    Same feelings as you, really gets my goat that the team is seemingly randomised each week. You can actually sense the nerves in the stadium when the announcement is made - the fans seem worried because anybody could play in any position.

    This surely can't be helping the players either? Must be so good knowing a) you're going to play week-in, week-out and b) you'll be playing in the same place doing mostly the same stuff.

    Maybe there's a link between the constant shuffling and our, at times, poor attacking threat? Rashford was brilliant on the left against Liverpool, then played on the right a few days later against Sevilla and was terrible. Similar has happened to Martial, and I'm not sure anyone quite knows what Lingard's position is. Not to mention the chopping and changing of the back four.

    On the other hand, I'm being a tad hypocritical too, as there are games when I bemoan the fact that our wingers don't swap sides to mix things up during play. Ugh, I don't know, after the result on Tuesday all I see are problems all over the pitch.
  22. Mar 16, 2018
    #22

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt

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    Was going to put this in the "modern Cohesive" thread but feel here is more appropriate.
    Alexis Sanchez has played in four different positions since he arrived.
    On the left, through the middle, on the right and in midfield.
    Four different roles.
    A lot of people think it's only defenders that need structure.
    Attacking players do as well.
  23. Mar 16, 2018
    #23

    simplyared Full Member

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    As a newly promoted rookie, coming straight from the Newbies, I think this OP is bang on. On the newbie forum I referred to this as the Mourinho freezer. In the OP it’s referred to as binning players, and it’s exactly what it is. I would add to this and say he doesn’t rotate players either. Imo rotation should be implied to keep the squad on their toes and not necessarily making a big difference to the team as such. Has to do with continuation. Then of course fringe players should be used tactically also.

    Rashford is a clear example of a player who has gone through the treatment. There’s no tactical genius in bringing Rashford back into the fold. He was brought back because Jose had no option. He needed him to win the game against the Scousers! All this business about him still learning and it all being part of his development is a load of bollocks. He’s good enough to be starting every game for us. I was beginning to think we’d have to wait until 14th June in Russia before we could see the player tormenting international defences with his fantastic pace and movement.

    Difficult to say how far injuries have influenced things as it’s difficult to get an update on the subject, but there are players who seem to just disappear. Blind, Rojo, Jones, Herrera are such examples of players I think we should be seeing more of. Are they injured or have they been ”binned” as well?

    Admit Shaw is a lost cause and is not up to it imo. Think Jose has given up on him and will probably be going in the summer. Young has done a fantastic job for us and as I see it, we have nobody in our squad who can replace him in that LB position.

    Lindelöf is never going to be good enough imo and is a buy that I would certainly question. Rojo could have been used more often instead. Again not sure about his injury status.

    Martial looks like he’s out of favour too. You ask yourself what does that do to the confidence of the player? Is it unthinkable to start him with Rashford?

    There just doesn’t seem to be any logic in what we are doing and how we are utilizing our players.
  24. Mar 16, 2018
    #24

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots

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    Nice opening sentence to your initial wall of shite. Thanks for mentioning the two outfield players per season that are our first team as a great argument against what I said.
    Are you really asking why two inconsistent young players have not played every game? Are you really bringing up Shaw and Mhki as being treated like shit? Shaw hasn't improved since we bought him and Mhki was awful. Are you really asking why our second keeper doesn't play much, while we're trying to keep hold of the one we have who is the best in the world?
    The rest of your post wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the first half.
  25. Mar 16, 2018
    #25

    Marcky411 Full Member

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    Yes, fully agree, he is still new, give him more time/money, he hasn't done this before :lol:.

    Now on a more serious note, not to be funny or nasty this manager has definitely earnt his stripes, but at Utd the longer he is here the more it looks like he hasn't got a clue what he is trying to accomplish. He seems more lost than ever, I really hope he finds himself again but I am not holding my breath. Like with LvG, this was the season for Jose to kick on with his Utd team. I see a lot of people talking about progression, with the money spent and the players brought in compared to what we had, when fit, how can there not be some kind of progression. Sometimes when people talk about this progression we have made I get the feeling they a looking for something positive to say because it is Jose. I wonder if people would be so kind if we had got another manager in than Jose.
    Some of the tactics and team selections he makes really baffles me.
    It is like the appointment of Mark Hughes at Southampton, they fire their own failing manager to bring in someone who just got fired for exactly the same reasons at Stoke, what in their crazy minds thought he is the solution to their problems, it can't be his track record as a manager. Same goes for Big Sam, he has had more clubs in the PL than anyone else and when you look at his track record as a manager he too hasn't lit up skies.